Monday, June 16, 2008

Thinking Out Loud

My mentor Brian Newman once told me: “You are the most external processor I’ve ever met!”

What he meant by that was this: I seem to be incapable of thinking silently. I have to think out loud.

That would be fine, except it drives Heather crazy, because I will often think through problems I’m having (that she does not want to get involved in) with her in the room. The upshot: my problems become her problems. So, if she’s having a trouble-free day, by the time I have finished figuring out my problem, she will now be worried and I’ll be happy.

Works out pretty nicely for me, doesn’t it?

This also affects my work-life. I find that I work better with someone else than I do on my own. I need the interaction that other people provide in order to arrive at conclusions. When I’m trying to be creative, I find it much more difficult doing so in front of a computer screen all by myself than doing the same thinking with a few other people and a package of post-its.

I have only met one other person that can match me in the thinking-out-loud department. Uh huh—that would be Kelly Wills. For those of you who don’t know her, suffice to say that I work with her and it would not surprise me to hear her suddenly blurt out something like: “I wonder if constantly saying ‘swoosh-swish-swash’ while walking would deter pigeons from crapping on me.”

This post was inspired by our friend Lisa, who apparently has trouble telling when she is thinking in her head and when she is thinking out loud and it’s actually coming out her mouth. In fact, she actually said “talking out loud” and we were like, “You mean, THINKING out loud?” So this one is for you, Lisa.

Troy pretty much lives his life through process which he expresses in an ongoing verbal flow. To him, thinking=open mouth. It doesn’t matter whether anyone is listening (or whether anyone who is listening actually cares about what he is saying in the given moment.) He’s like the energizer bunny of external processing.

I, on the other hand, process mostly in my head, so I don’t tend to think out loud too much. I am more likely to come to a conclusion in my head and then make a general announcement about it. Or not, depending on how forthcoming I feel.

Currently I am actually completely worn out from too little sleep and the season’s hardest goodbye this morning, so I have nothing more to process, out loud or otherwise.

That is all from me for today peeps!

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